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How do I? ...Can Tomatoes

Selecting, Preparing and Canning Tomatoes

Tomato Paste

  • 8 quarts peeled, cored chopped tomatoes (about 4 dozen large)
  • 1½ cups chopped sweet red peppers (about 3)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon canning or pickling salt
  • 1 clove garlic (optional)

Yield: About 9 half-pint jars

Please read Using Boiling Water Canners before beginning. If this is your first time canning, it is recommended that you read Principles of Home Canning.

Procedure: Hot Pack - Combine first four ingredients and cook slowly 1 hour. Press through a fine sieve. Add garlic clove, if desired. Continue cooking slowly until thick enough to round up on a spoon, about 2 hours. Stir frequently to prevent sticking. Remove garlic clove and bay leaves.

Pour boiling hot paste into hot half pint jars, leaving ¼ inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened clean paper towel; adjust two-piece metal canning lids. Process in a Boiling Water Canner.

Table 1. Recommended process time for Tomato Paste in a boiling-water canner.
  Process Time at Altitudes of
Style of Pack Jar Size 0 - 1,000 ft 1,001 - 3,000 ft 3,001 - 6,000 ft Above 6,000 ft
Hot Half-pints 45 min 50 55 60


This document was extracted from "So Easy to Preserve", 5th ed. 2006. Bulletin 989, Cooperative Extension Service, The University of Georgia, Athens. Revised by Elizabeth L. Andress. Ph.D. and Judy A. Harrison, Ph.D., Extension Foods Specialists.

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